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PRESS CONTACT INFO

ROBIN ERICKSON
Director of Communications

PHONE
(401) 831-7700 x101
E-MAIL
[email protected]

Monday, May 17, 2004
RI Red Cross Urges Residents to Take Action during National Hurricane Preparedness Week

National Hurricane Preparedness Week kicks off today and the RI Red Cross urges local residents to take action and prepare themselves before a disaster strikes.

Hurricane season begins on June 1st and Rhode Island cities and towns are prepared. While a national Red Cross poll shows that only 40% of hurricane-prone residents are prepared, the average is much higher in Rhode Island due to the constant training of local shelter teams.

"There has been increased activity in Hurricane Preparedness in RI, making us more disaster-resistant," said Nick Logothets, CEO of the RI Red Cross. "Eighty-five percent of RI cities and towns have completed their shelter operation training, with the remaining 15% to be done by December 1st."

The RI Red Cross has trained shelter teams, comprised of local volunteers, in each of Rhode Island's 39 cities and towns. The teams go through over 20 hours of training and conduct several shelter simulation exercises each year so that they are prepare if and when they are called to action.

While the cities and towns are prepared for a disaster, it is important that RI residents and their families are prepared as well. National Hurricane Preparedness Week offers people a reminder to take action now before a disaster occurs.

"I can't stress enough the importance of preparing well in advance," said Logothets. "As often as hurricanes have devastated communities along the coasts, people are still caught off-guard because they're not prepared."

The RI Red Cross recommends the following safety steps and tips:

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit

  • Gather emergency supplies including: emergency medications, nonperishable food, a non-electric can opener, bottled water (at least three gallons per day per person), a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, extra clothes, important documents, cash and credit cards, a first aid kit and other items for infants, elderly or disabled family members and pets
  • Store supplies in a waterproof, easy-to-carry container, such as a plastic tub with handles

Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan

  • Identify an evacuation route ahead of time; discuss with family members
  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately
  • In case of evacuation to an American Red Cross shelter, be sure to bring the disaster supplies kit, medications, extra clothing, pillows and blankets and other hygiene and comfort supplies
  • Make advance preparations for pets so you can bring them with you when you leave, but remember, due to health department regulations, pets aren't allowed in public shelters

Prepare for High Winds

  • Measure windows and obtain shutters or cut plywood to cover each one
  • Remove diseased and damaged tree limbs well before a storm strikes
  • Strengthen garage doors with vertical support beams made from 2X4s and "L" brackets.

CLICK HERE for more Red Cross Hurrican Safety Tips.

All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the public. For more safety tips, visit www.riredcross.org.

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